Homelessness placing a strain on public safety

ECPD Patrol Sgt. James Thompson makes a call while after visiting a homeless encampment Friday morning.PHOTOS TOM BODUS

EL CENTRO — Patrol Sgt. James Thompson of the El Centro Police Department listens patiently as a homeless man called Coy explains why he’s not quite ready to abandon living amid a mound of debris collected around a makeshift tent near a bridge on Interstate 8.

Thompson has suggested that Coy check himself into a rehabilitation program such as faith-based New Creations. Coy is politely having none of it. “I think I’d like to try and do it on my own for a while,” he said.

Homelessness placing a strain on public safety

Patrol Sgt. James Thompson of the El Centro Police Department talks to a homeless man staying at a camp near Interstate 8. PHOTO TOM BODUS

Homelessness placing a strain on public safety

A homeless encampment behind an abandoned business site in El Centro. PHOTO TOM BODUS

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(1) comment

Alma Agnew

Many homeless people are homeless by choice. Social security supplies many of them with a check every month. IT would help if some kind of law were to be enacted which would make paying rent mandatory for ssi recipients. Section 8 would arrange a reduced rent home be províded.

If they do not want to live In a home. Their check should be reduced accordingly. However, some of these people would not be homeless if they had a job. Business owners or managers should understand that there are a few folks among those homeless who have lots of experience in their line of work. Once a person experiences a setback in life that is overwhelming, they hit bottom, and find it very difficult to pull themselves up and out of the gutter. Personal hygiene is an issue, dirty clothing also presents a problem. Basically, if there could be a service available to these people to shower once a day, shave, and have clean clothes... There could be a few less homeless on the El Centro streets.

One chance could be all it takes to get a few people back into society as productive citizens. One chance. Do you have that to give to someone so they can change their life?

Think about it.

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